[This article originally appeared in the December 2014 issue of Rug News andDesign Magazine.]

Disclosure: Rug News andDesign is proud to endorse and support Project Mala.

Project Mala runs eight schools in six locations in India, including one middle school, and one secondary school. Because girls are treated as second class citizens, Project Mala has started a pre-school program for girls to give them a head start.

mala1Project Mala is actively raising money to start another secondary school to go through the 12th grade, and prepare children for college. They are finding that their students, the elite, top students, but not all, have a shot at higher education.


Project Mala, like other educational projects we endorse, is primarily volunteer based. And they, like we, are proud of their accomplishments.

They gave us two examples of how they are making a difference. These are all about children being accepted into competitive schools. Fourteen are in a school for gifted children. Two have qualified for a Government College where they can become junior engineers and two others at a Government Inter College where they can study math and science as well as Hindi and English. Two middle schoolers will get to go to the Banares Hindu University school for children of the professors as outsiders.

One of the children needs sponsorship of fees of $80 a month to at- tend. According to Project Mala: β€œHe comes from a large very poor family. His father was planning to send him to work after grade 10, but as he has done so well his father is now allow- ing him to continue his education.” Progress is made one boy, one girl at a time.

mala2Another child, instead of begging on the street, put his brain to use. He has now been accepted at a school to study civil engineering. A local hospital donated corrective surgery for polio free of charge. Again, a large poor family with a gifted child.

I understand how much difference one gifted child can make in one small village because the local lawyer turned down an NYC six figure law firm salary to come home after she received significant scholarships to competitive schools. I grew up in that town before I went away to school. I know the challenges facing the local school(s).

Please visit www.projectmala.org/us